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David Bird

‘Staff’ is a representation of a walking staff that would have been used to aid the pilgrim on their walk or journey. Traditionally scallop shells would have been hung off the staff to denote a direction of travel or the giving and receiving of food. Today these minerals found within the shells are being used in food and farming research and in the future may hold the key to sustaining soil diversity. ‘Staff’ is an apotropaic symbol of hope and discovery. It stands proud and ready to deflect the unwanted attention of the ever-present malevolent 'evil eye.' before eventually returning to the sea. The playful nature of the work I’ve produced beguiles an intriguing view into a world where myths and legends still exist and the history of peregrination reveals a world that cannot always be fully explained. The belief that following the sun and stars would help the traveler understand, in a conscious sense, the physical and spiritual asceticism of wandering the land, and the joy of being in harmony with nature. Pilgrimage is a path that we all tread. It sometimes leads us in various directions and reveals our journey through life that will ultimately help us all in the future.

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